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NHL Capsules

Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 11:51 PM / News

Associated Press

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NHL Capsules

NEW YORK (AP) - Washington scored three first-period goals and third-string goaltender Braden Holtby made 35 saves Saturday night to help the Capitals beat the Rangers 4-1, spoiling New York's chance to clinch the Presidents' Trophy.

The Rangers (51-24-7) finished with 109 points for the third time in franchise history and remain tied with Vancouver for the league's top spot. The Canucks host Edmonton later Saturday.

Washington (42-32-8) closed with 92 points and claimed the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference when Florida beat Carolina 4-1. Washington will open the playoffs in Boston, while the Rangers host Ottawa in the first round.

Alex Ovechkin got his 38th goal of the season just 32 seconds in, and Mathieu Perreault made it 2-0 at 2:18 of the first. John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Capitals.

Brian Boyle scored for the Rangers, who last won the Presidents' Trophy in 1994 on the way to their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years.

PENGUINS 4, FLYERS 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Evgeni Malkin scored his 50th goal and added an assist to lock up his second NHL scoring title and lead Pittsburgh over Philadelphia.

Malkin finished the regular season with 109 points and became the ninth player in Penguins history to reach the 50-goal mark.

Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis also scored for the Penguins, and Brent Johnson stopped five shots in relief of Marc-Andre Fleury to get the win.

Brayden Schenn and Jaromir Jagr scored for the Flyers, who rested leading scorer Claude Giroux in preparation for their first-round matchup with Pittsburgh starting next week.

LIGHTNING 4, JETS 3, OT

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - Steven Stamkos scored his 60th goal and Teddy Purcell had a hat trick - including the overtime winner - to lift Tampa Bay over Winnipeg in a season finale between teams that will miss the playoffs.

Fans gave Stamkos a standing ovation after Martin St. Louis sent a pass to the front of the net and Stamkos fired it over Ondrej Pavelec's glove at 3:29 of the third period.

Only Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has reached the 60-goal mark since 1996.

Jets forward Jim Slater scored his second goal of the night with 53 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Nik Antropov also scored for Winnipeg.

BLUES 3, STARS 2

DALLAS (AP) - Alex Steen and David Perron scored power-play goals, Jaroslav Halek stopped 33 shots, and playoff-bound St. Louis beat Dallas.

Kris Russell added an even-strength goal for the Central Division-champion Blues, who snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak (0-2-2) to finish with 109 points - the most since they had 114 in 1999-2000.

St. Louis will await the results of the Edmonton-Vancouver and Los Angeles-San Jose games to learn whether it will earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Rookies Ryan Garbutt and Philip Larsen scored in the game's final 11 minutes for the Stars.

BRUINS 4, SABRES 3, SO

BOSTON (AP) - Patrice Bergeron had three assists before scoring the winner in the shootout to lead defending Stanley Cup champion Boston into the playoffs with a win over Buffalo.

The Sabres had already been eliminated from the playoff race.

Tyler Seguin scored twice, and Brad Marchand also had a goal for the Bruins, who will be the No. 2 seed in the East. They open the playoffs next week against Washington.

Brad Boyes scored twice for the Sabres, who finished with 89 points - two behind the Capitals, who beat the Rangers 4-1.

Tim Thomas stopped 25 shots for the Bruins, while Jhonas Enroth made 37 saves for Buffalo.

COYOTES 4, WILD 1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Taylor Pyatt scored two goals and Mike Smith made 23 saves to help Phoenix clinch the first division championship in franchise history with a win over Minnesota.

Mikkel Boedker and Radim Vrbata also scored, and Michal Rozsival added two assists for the Coyotes (42-27-13), who won the final five games of the regular season to leapfrog Los Angeles and San Jose for the Pacific Division title. The Coyotes had never won a division dating to their inception as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979-80.

The Coyotes will play sixth-seeded Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.

Dany Heatley scored for the Wild, who missed the postseason for a fourth straight season.

PANTHERS 4, HURRICANES 1

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Marcel Goc and John Madden scored first-period goals to help Florida beat Carolina and clinch the first division title in franchise history.

Scott Clemmensen had 33 saves to help the Panthers wrap up the Southeast crown with 94 points - just two ahead of Washington.

Stephen Weiss also scored for Florida, which clinched the No. 3 seed and will play sixth-seeded New Jersey in the opening round. Mikael Samuelsson added an empty-netter with 1:24 left.

Joni Pitkanen scored and Brian Boucher made 23 saves for Carolina, which finished 12th in the Eastern Conference with 82 points.

BLACKHAWKS 3, RED WINGS 2, SO

DETROIT (AP) - Patrick Kane scored the only goal of the shootout to give Chicago the win over Detroit in the final game of the regular season for both teams.

Despite the loss, the Red Wings clinched the fifth seed in the Western Conference, while the Blackhawks finish as the sixth seed.

Viktor Stalberg and Andrew Shaw scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 30 saves.

Johan Franzen and Pavel Datysuk scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 30 shots.

The Red Wings face Nashville in the opening round of the playoffs, while the Blackhawks will play Phoenix, which clinched the Pacific Division with a 4-1 win over Minnesota.

PREDATORS 6, AVALANCHE 1

DENVER (AP) - Backup Anders Lindback stopped 34 shots before leaving early in the final period after a collision, Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 27th goal and Nashville closed the season with a win over Colorado.

David Legwand, Craig Smith, Roman Josi, Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk also had goals for Nashville, which clinched the No. 4 seed in the West when Central Division rival Detroit lost to Chicago in a shootout. The Predators open the playoffs next week by hosting the Red Wings.

Matt Duchene scored the lone goal for an Avalanche team that struggled down the stretch and missed the playoffs for a second straight season.

DEVILS 4, SENATORS 2

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, Stephen Gionta broke a third-period tie with his first NHL goal and New Jersey beat Ottawa for its sixth straight win.

Petr Sykora also scored, and Martin Brodeur made 31 saves for the Devils, who clinched the No. 6 seed in the East and will face Florida in the opening round.

Matt Gilroy and Jim O'Brien scored for Ottawa, which will be the eighth seed in the East and face the Rangers. Craig Anderson made 30 saves for Ottawa.

Kovalchuk iced the game with an empty-netter for the Devils, who missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 1996.

FLAMES 5, DUCKS 2

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Nigerian-born Akim Aliu scored his first two NHL goals to lead Calgary to a season-ending win over Anaheim.

By winning their final two games, the Flames reached the 90-point mark for the eighth season in a row. However, since going to the Stanley Cup finals in 2004, they have been ousted from the playoffs in the first round four times followed by three years of not making the postseason.

Jay Bouwmeester, Anton Babchuk and Lee Stempniak also scored for Calgary (37-29-16).

Bobby Ryan scored his 30th and 31st goals of the season for Anaheim (34-36-12), which finished with its worst record since the 2003-04 season.

CANADIENS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 1

MONTREAL (AP) - Tomas Plekanec scored a rare short-handed goal with Montreal down two players and the Canadiens beat Toronto in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole and Brad Staubitz also scored for Montreal (31-25-16), which finished last in the East. Staubitz's goal into an empty net with 1:58 to play was his first point in 62 games this season.

Dion Phaneuf scored for Toronto (35-37-10), which had a promising start to the season wasted by a 7-18-4 record over the last two months.

There was not much to play for but pride and final draft positions for both clubs.

BLUE JACKETS 7, ISLANDERS 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Cam Atkinson scored two goals - giving him five in five periods - to lead Columbus to a victory over New York in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Rick Nash opened the scoring in what could be his final game for the Blue Jackets. He has asked for a trade and management has said it will try to deal him this summer.

James Wisniewski and Vinny Prospal each added a goal and two assists, and R.J. Umberger and Jack Johnson also scored. Steve Mason made 35 saves. Atkinson also had an assist.

Milan Jurcina and Michael Grabner each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, and Kyle Okposo also scored.

Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

— Jordan Eberle on taking his game and the Edmonton Oilers to the next level